Welcome back to the Hoos Place 2018 Summer Hoops Refresh, where we review last season and this summer's personnel moves for all 15 ACC programs in alphabetical order. To read program capsules already complete, you can click here. Today we look at the...
The Orange have settled into a pretty predictable pattern of finishing just barely above average in the ACC and nervously awaiting Selection Sunday basically each of the last four years. This year they've got four starters to replace but do have a lot of options in waiting; will Boeheim get this group over the hump?
Coach: Jim Boeheim; 936-385 in 43 seasons overall, all at Syracuse, 127-71 (60-45) in 6 seasons in the ACC.
2018-19 Record: Last season: 20-14 (10-8); ACCT Quarterfinals (6 seed); NCAAT 1st Round (8 seed)
ORtg: 110.5 (59 of 351)
DRtg: 95.3 (30 of 351)
ORtg: 100.3 (9 of 15)
DRtg: 100.4 (7 of 15)
G Frank Howard (Graduated)
SF Tyus Battle (Turned Pro)
F Oshae Brissett (Turned Pro)
C Paschal Chukwu (Graduated)
29 G, 26.9 mpg, 8.9 ppg, 2.9 apg, 34% 3P%
32 G, 36.3 mpg, 17.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 32% 3P%
34 G, 33 mpg, 12.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 27% 3P%
33 G, 20.1 mpg, 4.4 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 72% FG%
G Jalen Carey (SO)
G Howard Washington (RS SO)
SG Buddy Boeheim (SO)
SF Elijah Hughes (RS JR)
F Robert Braswell (SO)
PF Marek Dolezaj (JR)
F/C Bourama Sidibe (JR)
25 G, 12.2 mpg, 3.5 ppg, 1 apg, 17% 3P%
3 G, 1.1 mpg, 0 ppg, 0.1 apg, 0% 3P%
32 G, 17.1 mpg, 6.8 ppg, 1 apg, 35% 3P%
34 G, 32.7 mpg, 13.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 37% 3P%
12 G, 4.6 mpg, 2.2 ppg, 0.8 rpg, 50% 3P%
34 G, 21.6 mpg, 4.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 56% FG%
29 G, 10.1 mpg, 1.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 46% FG%
G Joseph Girard (3-star FR)
SG Brycen Goodine (4-star FR)
SF Quincy Guerrier (4-star FR)
C Jesse Edwards (3-star FR)
C John Bol Ajak (3-star FR)
*Statistics based on ACC play. Projected starters in bold
2019/20 ACC Opponents:
|Home & Away:||Boston College, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Virginia, Virginia Tech|
|Home Only:||Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Wake Forest|
|Away Only:||Clemson, Florida State, Louisville, Miami|
The graduates and pro declarations of four starters leave Syracuse without much in the way of proven scoring options aside from the small forward Hughes. And while high-volume recruiting the last few cycles has left coach Boeheim with a deep roster of 12 eligibile players, question marks abound with most of them. The recruiting has brought in a high number of players, with good positional balance to boot, though it's been lacking in star power. Rising sophomore guard Jalen Carey was the only consensus Top 75 recruit of the bunch, though a handful of others (Dolezaj, Goodine, and Guerrier) were tail-end four stars. It's also a younger roster, with no seniors and very little guard experience.
Picking a rotation out of this group is going to be near impossible at this point, and I doubt even coach Boeheim has much certainty on the subject. His son Buddy probably starts at the 2, and Carey probably has the inside track to start at PG spot, though it's an open question if either of them are all that capable of running a tight offense. Joe Girard, if he can prove a capable floor general, may sneak into the roster on this basis, as might Howard Washington if he can bounce back from a year lost to a series of medical issues. Goodine and Guerrier will try and be the next breakout scoring wings for the Orange, while Dolezaj returns as a steady stretch 4 option and Sidibe anchors the zone's 5-spot while Edwards and Bol Ajak get up to speed.
This feels like another team that ends up on the right side of Selection Sunday come March. It's not an elite team, there are no stars who are simply going to will this team to victory night after night. But it's a deep squad that can possibly platoon effectively, one man's cold night being papered over by two teammates' warmer performances. And of course, if Boeheim can get them playing the 2-3 Zone the way he wants them too, they can hang around in a lot of games (they've finished Top 30 nationally on KenPom every year but one since 2010). The schedule is favorable, getting to go twice against lightweights BC, Pitt, and VT, and getting Duke and Carolina at home. This team really is set up to hopefully do major damage next year when the whole squad potentially returns, but in the meantime, it should capitalize on a weakened league and end as one of the ACC's top half teams this coming season. Expect them to push a young UVA team come November 6th.